Michigan Supreme Court Decision Changes Virtual Meeting Landscape

Posted on October 12, 2020 by Jennifer Rigterink

This afternoon the Michigan Supreme Court (MSC) denied Governor Whitmer’s request to extend executive orders related to the COVID-19 pandemic for 28 days. While some requirements and restrictions related to gathering sizes and mask wearing continue under the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services (MDHHS) emergency orders issued last week, MDHHS does not have any authority to allow public bodies to forgo any part of the Open Meetings Act.

Consult with your municipal attorney immediately if you have a virtual public meeting scheduled today or in the near future!

Also, contact your state Representative and urge the quick passage of Senate Bill 1108. The House is scheduled to be in session tomorrow. Action by the House is imperative in light of the MSC decision today. SB 1108 would retroactively cover virtual meetings that have taken place since April 30, 2020 and allow for them to continue if/when needed until December 31, 2020.

Jennifer Rigterink is a legislative associate for the League handling economic development, land use and municipal services issues.  She can be reached at [email protected] or 517-908-0305.

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